American Patriotic 10

Wilton Edwin McDonald

November 12, 1933 ~ December 23, 2021 (age 88)

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On November 12, 1933 in Roseboro, North Carolina, Wilton Edwin McDonald was born to Malissie (Vinson) and Willie Eugene McDonald. 
The fifth child of six, his siblings were Cree, Ruth, Wilma, Norman, and Mary.

When his father died, his mother married a man from Baltimore, Maryland.  At age 8, Wilton rode on top of their belongings in the back of a flatbed truck to the rowhouse in Baltimore where he lived until age 17, when he joined the United States Air Force.  He was stationed in Japan during the Korean Conflict, where was a Master Mechanic working on transport planes.  He was transferred to Amarillo Air Force Base where he met the love of his life, Maisie Patsy Gayarré, and married her one week later. She moved with him when he was transferred to Florida, but he was discharged and they moved back to Amarillo in time for their only child, Wilton Edwin "Ed" McDonald II, to be born on August 9, 1956.

Upon returning to Amarillo, Maisie's big sister's husband, who worked for Pioneer Natural Gas, helped Wilton to get a job as a meter reader with the company.  He attended night classes at Amarillo College and later at West Texas State University to earn his Bachelor's Degree.  This enabled him to advance into management within the company, which became Energas and, eventually, Atmos Energy.  The family transferred with the company from Amarillo to
Earth, Littlefield, Lubbock, and back to Amarillo.
By then, Maisie had also earned her education and became an elementary teacher and the couple made many friends through their love of squaredancing. 

Wilton and Maisie owned several motor homes through the years and loved to travel, often taking their two grandsons, Austin and Michael, along with them - fishing and visiting amusement parks.

A few months after Wilton retired, Maisie retired from teaching and the two looked forward to an active retirement together, traveling the continent.   Unfortunately, Maisie was struck with Pick's Disease, an uncommon type of progressive dementia, which suddenly rendered her unable to speak.  The couple continued their travels from Alaska and Canada to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico and all over the U. S.  They moved from Ransom Canyon near Lubbock to Canyon Lakes, Texas where they lived until Maisie's dementia worsened to the extent that Wilton could no longer care for her.  With the help of their son, Ed, the couple moved into the Continental Assisted Living Center in Amarillo, which had a Memory Care Unit for Maisie.  Two years later, Maisie lost her battle on  March 24, 2007.

Wilton moved to the Palo Duro Retirement Village in Canyon but, while his belongings stayed there, he didn't stay there long.  He was lucky enough to find love again in an old friend, Kay Kirk.  He moved a few clothes to her home in Lubbock and they became a couple.  They were together for more than nine years, until her death on January 1, 2017.

In May of 2017, Wilton and their little dog, Cuddles, began staying in the apartment he'd kept at Palo Duro in Canyon.  In September 2017,  events occurred which made clear that his Alzheimer's Disease had advanced such that he could no longer live on his own without supervision.  Ed and his new daughter-in-law, Debra, brought him to their home and set him up in a townhouse across the street from their home, where he stayed until his death on December 23, 2021. 

Wilton is survived by his son, Ed McDonald and his daughter-in-law, Debra, of Amarillo; his grandsons, Austin McDonald of Amarillo and Michael McDonald and wife Chellee of Divide, Colorado;  his great-grandsons, Anderson McDonald of Amarillo and River and Jasper McDonald of Divide, Colorado; and one sister, Mary Walker of Sumter, South Carolina.  He is also survived by his step-granddaughters, Jenni Avery of Lubbock and Heather Avery Ward of San Angelo, Texas and step-great-grandsons, Brooks Burns of Lubbock and Weston Ward of San Angelo.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.   His ashes will be placed in a niche beside Maisie's in Memory Gardens Cemetery in Amarillo. 

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